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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
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Writing a personal essay for college - advice?

I'm in the process of writing my personal essay for college applications and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on what to focus on. What aspects of my life or experiences should I highlight? How personal should I get? Any advice would be super helpful!

7 months ago

Hey there! Writing a personal essay can feel daunting, but it's all about showcasing who you are and your unique perspective. It's best to focus on a specific event, experience, or aspect of your life that has had a significant impact on you. This could be a personal challenge, a relationship, or something that sparked a passion for you.

When choosing a topic, try to avoid cliches such as overcoming a sports injury, moving to a new school, or an immigrant's story, unless you can present it in a very unique and personal way. Aim for an original angle to make your essay stand out to admissions officers.

As for how personal to get, don't be afraid to share your emotions, thoughts, and growth. The key is to strike a balance between opening up and maintaining a level of privacy you're comfortable with. Consider discussing your personal development, lessons learned, and how these experiences have shaped you as an individual.

Lastly, don't forget to proofread and revise your essay multiple times, and consider seeking feedback from a teacher, counselor, or a platform like CollegeVine's peer essay review tool. Good luck with your essay and your college applications!

7 months ago

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CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.